SCFI FestivalsSociety for the Confluence of Festivals in India

Kaman Pandigai

In the state of Tamil Nadu, people worship Kaamadeva for his supreme sacrifice on the occasion of Holi. People know Holi by three different names Kaman Pandigai, Kamavilas and Kama-Dahanam.

The Legend

People of Tamil Nadu have great faith in the legend of Shiva and Kaamadeva. The story goes that Shiva went into deep meditation after the death of his consort, Sati. Due to Shiva's indifferent attitude gods became tensed and worried. Also, daughter of the mountains, Parvati started mediating to get Shiva as her husband.

To get Shiva back to his original self gods seeked the help of Kaamadeva- the god of love. Fully aware of the repurcussions of such an act, Kaamdeva agreed to help gods for the good of the world. He shot his powerful arrow on Shiva when he was in deep meditation. Enraged, Shiva opened his third eye and burnt Kaamadeva to ashes. However, the arrow had the desired effect and Shiva agreed to marry Parvati.

Rati, Kaamadeva's wife though felt sad about the whole episode. She narrated the pathetic tale to Shiva and requested him to revive Kaamdeva. To which Shiva happily agreed.

In Tamil Nadu songs are sung on holi depicting Rati's extreme sorrow and people offer sandalwood to Kaamadeva to easen the pain of burning. People also believe that Kaamdeva was revived on the day of Holi and hence celebrate the festival in his name.

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